July 30, 2015

MAKING A HOUSE A HOME

Our house is finally starting to feel like a home. Last week we went through all of our boxes, found places for everything and things this week are starting to feel very homey. We've spent a lot of time paring down our belongings and have narrowed down our favorites. We have started to hang photos on the walls and have been finding places for the favorite things we kept.

You know when you move into a new place and before you get settled in, it has an unfamiliar smell? Not a bad smell, but a smell that isn't yet home. We'll, our home is finally starting to smell like home and in the very best way. One of my favorite smells is from my lemon verbena Good Word Candle. Guys, this is the most amazing smelling candle ever. I'm serious, I want my house to always smell like lemon verbena. Even when the candle isn't burning I can small the lemon verbena and it always makes me smile. I also love the inspiring messages from Good Word Candles.

{ GIVEAWAY CLOSED }
  
How do you make your house into a home? Remember to stop by Good Word Candles and pick out  your favorite designs and don't forget the lemon verbena smells amazzzzzzing! xoxo. Samantha

July 28, 2015

SUMMER STYLE : COWGIRL UP

LOCATION:  Pleasantville, NY
DETAILS:  Modcloth Dress (similar)  || Cowgirl boots (similar)   ||  Belt (similar) || Circle Necklace  (similar)  ||  Hat  (similar)

Cowgirl boots are a summer staple for me. I wait all year long to wear them. I couldn't tell you why I only wear them in summer, but apparently it's a thing for me, ha! I remember the first time  pulled my boots out this summer, slipped them on and then I wondered, "are people going to look at me funny?" I haven't seen one pair of cowgirl boots around here and I wondered if I was going to stick out like a sore thumb.

I set my silly concerns aside and decided I would rock my cowgirl boots all summer, because cowgirl boots are so me. Plus, I always appreciate the opportunity to go against the grain. Pairing cowgirl boots with a summer dress is also right up my alley. Let's not forget how crazy comfortable cowgirl boots are.
It had been a while since Tyler and I had done a shoot together, whew. We were feeling rusting, but we ended up having lots of fun, getting caught in the rain and taking lots of photos. This outfit was so fun to put together too; mixing styles with my boots and a fun hat. Style is whatever we want to make of it; it's all our own, and can be loads of fun. What are some of you favorite summer staples? xoxo. Samantha

SHOP THIS LOOK

July 27, 2015

STRAWBERRY GREEK YOGURT POPS

Summertime means eating lots of popsicles , right? They are so lovely and refreshing and this warm weather had me inspired to create some that were really delicious and really healthy.  I've been eating lots of Greek yogurt and berries for breakfast and I thought it would be perfect to turn my breakfast into summertime pops. I whipped up these strawberry Greek yogurt pops last week and they were perfect for a morning breakfast treat.
INGREDIENTS  : 
2 cups strawberries
3/4 cups Fage Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp honey
Blueberries 

METHOD : 
Blend together strawberries, yogurt, and honey.  We use a Ninja blender and it whips things up super easy. Once your strawberries, yogurt and honey is blended, set aside. Before pouring your strawberry blend into popsicle molds drop your whole blueberries in. Drop a few blueberries in at a time while pouring your strawberry blend over the blueberries. This will distribute your blueberries evenly.  Freeze popsicles until frozen solid, about 4 to 5 hours. Enjoy!
My favorite thing about these strawberry pops are the whole blueberries inside. I also love that I can eat them for breakfast. These popsicles have me wondering what other healthy treats I can whip up. Do you have any favorites I should try? xoxo. Samantha

July 23, 2015

WHY WE CHOSE A TINY HOUSE + BEFORE PHOTOS

Whew, we have finally finished moving into our tiny house. This past weekend our Ubox arrived and we now have the remainder of our belongings, which was really exciting, but I also got a little overwhelmed. Stuff is just overwhelming to me, I'm just not a fan of stuff. So today, you get a peek inside the madness of our tiny house full of boxes, ha!

The first day our things arrived stuff was everywhere and I was sure we had too much and that we were going to be living among boxes for the next year... that was the dramatic side of my brain talking... because it's now Thursday and things are much better and it's turns out we didn't have too much stuff. It probably helped that we had 4+ boxes full of stuff to donate in the end.
Have you guys been wondering why we chose a tiny house? I think I touched on it a bit when I shared my tiny house mood board, but I thought I would give ya'll the run down.

TIMING : One of the greatest factors in choosing our tiny house was timing. We only had two weeks to find something and even though I contacted tons of places there were only four places we looked at. Out of the four places we looked at our tiny house was the best of the four.

LOCATION : Tyler and I just spent the last three years living in the "city" or in "town" and we had had our fill. We wanted something that was away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with lots of trees and lots of quiet. We also wanted to find something close to Tyler's work. For our first year here I didn't really want Tyler to have to commute to work and I wanted to be close until we really learned the area.

PRICE : Tyler and I have a good amount of student loans and we're not talking about the average amount of student loans, we're talking about mortgage size student loans. Our goal is to live small so we can take care of our student loans and our tiny house fit the bill.

APPEAL : Overall our tiny house has lots of appeal.  It's been recently renovated, so it's nice and new inside. It also has lots of storage, something too look for in a tiny house. It has lovely wood floors and the bathroom is super nice. Our tiny house also has a nice front yard and side yard with a brick patio and fire pit. All good things, if you ask me. And all things we weren't able to have living in the city.
Living in a tiny house and choosing to live small is an adventure. One we are excited to experience. Our tiny house isn't our forever home, but it's something we can experience now before we have kids. We knew that living small would really teach us something and we would come out on the other side with a great experience. xoxo. Samantha

July 21, 2015

5 TIPS FOR RELOCATING

We're on round two of moving across the country and both seem pretty interesting. Our first relocation experience happened one week after Tyler and I got married. Tyler was living in Burbank, CA and I was living in Joplin, MO. Tyler traveled home for our wedding, as we are both from Joplin, and one week after the wedding we loaded a moving truck and made our way West.

We're in the process of our second relocation and it started back in January. It's been a really interesting process. But let's fast forward to this past month, because it's been this last month that our relocation has felt more permanent. We've moved into a new space, we've traveled to retrieve our belongings, and we've spent a lot of time camping on our living room, ha! With our recent move, and feeling like we have become accustomed to moving across the country I thought I would share 5 tips to encourage you.

5 TIPS FOR RELOCATING

1.) STAY ORGANIZED : Relocating is overwhelming, having to gather all your belongings, move all your stuff, change your address, find a new place to live, and learn you community. Whew, it's a lot. Staying organized can help keep your mind clear. There were a few days were I felt so overwhelmed by everything. But, I took a break and made a list. I got things organized, created a timeline and knew I only had a few things to do each day.

2.) BE FLEXIBLE : With this most recent relocation, we have had to be really flexible, and staying flexible helped make things easier. We were staying in corporate housing for our first few months here. Then in June our corporate housing ended and our new space wasn't available to move in yet. We did a lot of couch surfing and even after we moved into our space all we had was our clothes and toiletry items. It was necessary to stay flexible. :)

3.) TAKE IT SLOW : During our first relocation to SoCal, I didn't take it slow. I dove right in and it was a really difficult experience for me. I didn't give myself enough time to learn our new area and process everything that had happened. During this second relocation I learned from that first experience and decided to take things slow.

4.) LEARN YOUR COMMUNITIES : Because we had a period of staying in corporate housing I had an opportunity to learn different communities in our area. We knew what types of areas we wanted to live in and I started to get a feel for which ones we like best and which ones were closest to Tyler's work. Learning these communities provided lots of encouragement moving forward.

5.) ASK ABOUT RELOCATION : Relocation assistants was provided for this move and it helped tremendously. During our first move relocation assistance wasn't provided, but after talking with a friend we learned that when moving for a job you should always ask. The worst that could happen is they would say no, but if they say yes, you'll have help on the way.

Are you in the process of a move? Have  you recently relocated to a new place? What are some things that really helped you in your process? xoxo. Samantha

July 20, 2015

SUN-KISSED STRAWBERRY MINT TEA

Summer is in full bloom... wait that's spring. Summer is charging full steam head... Basically summer is here. :) At least for this year I have learned that compared to Missouri, summer's seem relatively mild here. It hasn't been to crazy hot. There have been more days with windows up then windows closed and it's been pretty nice.

With such lovely warm summer days I was inspired to experiment with some sun-kissed tea. I love summer iced tea, it's so refreshing. I would say I love sweet tea, but really, I love tea that is barely sweetened, ha!
I started with a small mason jar and a bag of peppermint tea. And the best part was having the tea steep outside in the warm summer sun. I cut up some yummy strawberries, dropped them in the tea and my strawberry mint tea was ready to go.
I'm really loving these fruit infused teas. I have a handful of different teas that I would love to experiment with and mix in different fruit, it would be perfect for summer nights around the camp fire. What's inspiring your summer theses days?

July 16, 2015

WHAT IS A TINY HOUSE?

( SOURCE 1, 2, 3 )

Guys, let's talk tiny houses. I was actually pretty unaware that tiny houses were such a thing, until Tyler and I watched a tiny house documentary a few months ago. At that time we chatted about whether we would ever consider living in a place that small and considered the idea pretty fun. A lot of the tiny houses we learned about were tiny houses built on wheels. Some may say that a true tiny house isn't a tiny house unless it's on wheels. But I've seen lots of tiny houses as permanent structures and I still would consider them tiny.

In regards to size, a typical tiny house is 100sqft to 400sqft. While watching the tiny house documentary we even saw a few houses that were 500sqft, which they called tiny mansions. Tiny houses are built to optimize space and it seems that every sqft has been considered in design. One of my favorite things about tiny houses is that those that choose to live in them  have a minimalistic  lifestyle. And they can also be super cute, check out this tiny house, it's adorable. A lot of tiny houses I've seen have built-in lofts, which I think is the greatest idea ever and if you search for tiny houses online you will see some of the cutest little living spaces ever.

I get a sense that a lot of those who choose to live in tiny houses are tying to get away from the typical "busyness" of every day life. Tiny houses are more affordable in over all cost and require less maintenance. It takes me way less time to clean our tiny house simply because of it's size. I was looking over this tiny house infographic and I thought it was so fascinating that the overall family size is getting smaller in America, but houses are getting bigger. We, as Americans seem to be filling up those bigger houses with more and more stuff too. Do you think American society is gauging their success on all their stuff?

So what makes a tiny house a tiny house? If you ask me, I say square footage. And our tiny house fits right in at 325sqft. Tyler and I never actually thought we would be living in a tiny house, but here we are. What are your thoughts on tiny houses? Would you ever consider living in a tiny house? xoxo. Samantha

July 15, 2015

AT THE MARKET

There are two farmers markets in our area, both about the same distance from us and we have been to the Chappaqua farmers market twice now. I'ts a pretty straight shot from our house and it is located at the Chappaqua train station. It's the cutest little station and it has a roundabout. The venders set up in the roundabout and all the shoppers gather on the grass in the middle of the roundabout while live music plays. It is the cutest ever and one of my favorite things.

There is a really great sense of community as people pass through, buying their favorite items and chatting with venders. Families sit and picnic while listening to music and little ones kick soccer balls.  The colors of the market are bright and rich and all the venders are extra friendly. I've started to familiarize myself with the regular venders and I have been scoping out my favorite ones to shop from.  Tyler and I hope to buy are weekly veggies from our favorite venders. I'm pretty sure we could purchase everything we needed as there is a meat vender there also.
There is fresh squeezed lemonade at the market and there are numerous venders selling prepared food; from pizza, to breakfast burritos, to hummus, and sweets, it's all there.  Maybe next time I'll see if I can grab a sample from each booth, ha!
The farmers market is one of my favorite summer activities. I'm really excited to learn more about our farmers market and make friends with all of our favorite vendors. I don't think we've ever lived in a place that is this quaint and adorable, but hey, I'll take it. ;) xoxo. Samantha

July 13, 2015

LET'S CATCH UP

Let's catch up, what do ya say? It's been a really busy week and a half. Last Thursday we headed back to Missouri to pack up our storage unit with the remainder of our belongings. We spent all of last Friday going through our storage unit, tracking down items we had loaned to friends, and packing our u-box. Getting into our storage unit made me think we have to much stuff, ha! We have a pretty small space and seeing so much stuff made me a little nervous, but I kept reminding myself that a majority of those things were things we needed, like our entire kitchen. We ran into some rain while we packed our u-box, but we held strong and got everything finished.

Going home to Missouri means we get to spend a lot of time with family, both Tyler's and mine. We went to our oldest nephews baseball game. They were playing for the championship and it was super serious. For such little guys I was really impressed with their skills. We cooked out with family and shot off fireworks and it was more eventful then we were hoping for. One of the fireworks fell over and shot at us multiple times. It was definitely one of those moments you had to be there for.
Tyler and I both took our moms on dates and we saw Jurassic World. I couldn't wait to see it and I thought it was sooooo good! I was glad I was able to take my mom also. We always like doing special things while we are in town. My mom also wanted to do some gardening, so we all headed to Lowe's. Tyler used to be a landscaper so he and my mom chatted about what she was wanting and then we all worked together to make it happen.
We were able to spend lots of time with friends while we were home also. We've been trying to be better at scheduling friend dates and it was nice being able to catch up with everyone. We flew back this past Wednesday. We arrived close to midnight and I fell asleep on the way home, ha! We didn't have much down time, as a friend of ours was planning on visiting and arrived on Thursday. We love having friends over, but it was definitely an interesting experience as we still don't really have any furniture or  kitchen items. Even with our random living space we had lots of fun and we were able to accomplish a lot too.
One of our summer projects / moving projects has been to build a storage bed and the guys build it this weekend. I was so excited! I was really hoping our bed would be built before our u-box arrived and it is, hurray! Oh, by the way, our u-box arrives this weekend, so we'll finally have all of our stuff and a regular bed, whew.  Let's be honest, sleeping on an air mattress for multiple week isn't my favorite.

Not only did the storage bed get built this weekend, but our mini washing machine came too. Have I told you about our mini washing machine yet? Well, a washer and dryer didn't come with our tiny space, because it's to tiny. However, my friend, Sarah was telling me about some tiny washers she had seen online. So, I went looking for one that might work for us and it arrived! I actually didn't expect it to arrive until later this week, but I'm glad it's here.
Whew, it's been a busy couple of weeks. Even though we've had a lot to do, we have had a lot of fun also. We visited the farmers market this weekend, which is one of my favorite things, and we've been doing lots of campfires with s'mores. I was also able to clean our tiny house yesterday, which was amazingly really fun. It really gave me a since that it was ours. There is a lot going on in our lives right now and I'm really looking forward to when things start to slow down. How has your summer been? xoxo. Samantha


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...